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Mumbai favourites in Vijay Hazare one-dayers final

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New Delhi, March 13 (IANS) India discard Prithvi Shaw, who was axed from the India squad after poor performances in Australia but has since then struck form in domestic cricket, will be the star attraction when Mumbai take on Uttar Pradesh (UP) in the final of the Vijay Hazare one-day tournament here at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground in the Arun Jaitley Stadium on Sunday.

Shaw’s battle with left-arm spinner Shivam Sharma will be the highlight of the match. While Shaw has topped the scoring charts of the tournament this season — 754 runs at an average of 188.5, Sharma is the leading wicket-taker having taken 20 wickets at an average of 14.2 and economy rate of 4.22.

Ever since the current format of the tournament came into existence at the turn of the century with each zone’s top teams playing a round-robin format followed by semi-finals and a final to determine an all-India winner, Mumbai have won the tournament thrice and Uttar Pradesh just once.

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On paper, Mumbai start favourites due to the sheer experience they have in the line-up although they have been heavily dependent on Shaw like in the semi-final against Karnataka.

UP’s batting will find it difficult against a Mumbai bowling that boasts of former India internationals Shivam Dube and Dhawal Kulkarni. UP will be missing the services of Bhuvneshwar Kumar who is on India duty and had played only in the league stages of the tournament.

Mumbai are yet to concede 300 in the entire tournament whereas they have managed to breach the 300-run mark four times out of the four occasions they have batted first. They also managed to put 457 on one occasion, against Puducherry.

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Uttar Pradesh have just one score of 300 out of three times they have batted first in the tournament.

UP’s net run rate of 1.559 in the group stages was also inferior to Mumbai’s 2.603 and unlike Mumbai, who have been unbeaten, UP lost a game in the league stage.

–IANS

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